Our final week of skating concluded this week with a fun obstacle course! Grades 1-5 got to participate in this "challenge by choice" course where students attempted the various obstacles that they felt comfortable doing. We continued to offer the white gliders (pictured above) to help students develop competence and gain confidence in their skating abilities. We also had the center of the gym available for students to pratice backwards skating or just skate back and forth on the floor and stopping/turning around on the black floor mats. It was a great way to end our unit with a variety of ways to get students using their skills in fun and challenging ways! Check out the video below to see the course in action!
Our kindergarten classes continued to gain confidence in their skating abilities as we worked on getting all students to travel on the wood floor. I created a unique set up with various carpet squares and mat areas scattered around the gym with numbered cones at each area. Students attempted to travel to the different areas in sequential number area. This forced students to leave the "safer" area and skate on the wood floor to get to the next numbered location. On our second day this week I created a large boarder of interlocking mats for students to travel around, on, or inside based on their level of comfort. I was happy to see all students able to get up to their feet from a seating position, demonstrate a standing T-position and most skating on the wood floor! Great job, Kindergarten!
This was our second week of our skating unit and students are improving their skills and gaining confidence every day! We combined some "free skate" time to get students warmed up and also worked on on stopping under control (without falling and without grabbing on to anything or anyone). The activity we used was called "4 Corners" and we used this with grades 1-5. You can read more about this activity below or watch the video of how it works. I also used a great little iOS app on my iPad (projected to my screen via Apple TV) called "Decide Now" which is a customizable spinner I made to go along with the game.
Our kindergarteners continued working on getting up from a seated position using the "recovery standup." They also know how to make the "T-position" with their back wheels to help keep their balance when standing. We are continuing to make progress picking up our feet and keeping our toes pointed out to help up move forward and then "gliding" once we get enough momentum going. Check out the kids in action and see what they've been working on in the video below!
This week we began our skating unit! The students have been looking forward to this ever since I collected their shoe sizes before Christmas break. Our focus for the week was to get the kids equipped and skating as soon as possible. I am so encouraged by the support of our 77 parent volunteers who signed up to help get skates and safety gear on the kids!! This is a HUGE help for me (and the kids) and allows them maximum skate time and also frees me up to do more teaching.
Our 2nd through 5th grade students use inline skates. For some it is the first time trying this new skill but for the majority of students, it is the "preferred" style of skates. Our main focus for this first week has been safety rules, skating procedures, getting on the skates & safety gear, and standing up. The kids got some "free skate" time to get familiar with the skates and the space as they moved around the gym. Of course there were plenty of chances to practice stopping and getting up after falling...all part of the skating experience.
Our Kindergarten & 1st grade students got to use the traditional 4-wheel quad skates. The Velcro quads make it easy to get skates on and secured quickly. Students also wore wrist guards and helmets. Students became familiar with the sizes of skates and safety gear they needed and got lots of practice standing up after falling down. We worked on the "T"-Position (locking the back wheels together) to keep them from moving & help maintain their balance while standing. We practiced marching in place (transferring weight from one foot to the other) and turning in a circle in one place by picking up our feet. Students also practiced keeping toes pointed out and picking up their feet to help them move forward.
This week our students focused on activities involving overhand throwing and catching, We warmed up with some partner throwing and catching and then played a warmup game called "Partner Catch Tag" (see below).
Day 1 - Students participated in the District-wide Locomotor Skill Post Assessment. Students have learned how to move their bodies in a eight different ways. These ways are are called locomotor skills. They include walking, running, skipping, galloping, hopping, jumping, leaping, and sliding. We have used these movement skills in a variety of activities throughout the year. Student learning of these skills has been demonstrated cognitively by students being able to correctly identify the movement patterns shown in the following 8 video clips by Kevin Tiller.
DAY 2 - Students participated in a variety of "free choice" stations. They wore their pedometers to help them determine their activity level as they played. We uploaded our pedometers at the end of class and looked at the data to determine how active their choices were.
Our first graders also wore their pedometers this week while participating in "free choice" stations. Kindergarten just enjoyed the stations (no pedometers yet). Our stations included:
Even though it was a shorter week with no school Monday and a half day on Friday, we still managed to get in lots of learning down in the gym. Check out what our students worked on this week...
Our 5th grade students got to visit the Chicago Bulls & Sox Academy on Wednesday and participate in a variety of fun activity stations which focused on health, nutrition, fitness and staying active for life! Check out the highlights from their trip in the video below.
Our third graders continued with hand dribbling skill work this week and we added some shooting in as well. Two of the activities we used this week are shown below. The "Magic Number Dribbling" activity incorporated a little math skill as students worked in groups to add a minimum of 3 numbers together to equal the "magic number" each round. Math in PE??? You bet!
We revisited locomotor skills this week in grades 1 & 2 as our second graders are preparing to take their locomotor summative assessment next week to earn their locomotor license! We played a variation of an activity with dice called "Rolling Locomotives" by Kevin Tiller @physedreview. In this activity, students start at any corner of the gym. They roll one of the dice at the hoop in that corner. Whatever number the dice lands on will correspond to a number on the locomotor sheet. Students must perform the particular locomotor skill all the way across the gym to the next corner. Here they will roll again and travel in the manner designated on the dice.
We also incorporated a little math using the concepts of greater than, less than, and equal to in an activity called "Roll with It" adapted from JD Hughes @pe2themax. In this activity, students face off against each other by rolling dice and deciding who has the greater number. Greater number runs and takes an item from their hoop and runs to put it in a bucket. Lesser number runs to touch the white line and return to face off against someone new. The team that empties their hoop first wins. Below is a video of Miss Hanna's first graders playing the activity...
Kindergarten only had PE once this week due to the half day on Friday. However, they stayed active with a warmup activity that worked on pacing themselves with a Popsicle Stick Run. They also got to work on the math concepts of greater than, less than and equal in the high cardio "Roll with It" activity.
Welcome back and Happy New Year! This week our 4th & 5th graders worked on several indivdual and cooperative skills as they attempted to complete some of the PE Central Skill Challenges. Our K-3 students worked on hand dribbling skills within a variety of practice contexts.
Grades 4 & 5
The PE Central Skills Challenge consists of six different skills that students should be proficient in by the end of 5th grade. They are challenged to try and perform as many of the skill challenges as they can. Students get multiple attempts to try and complete the challenges on multiple "testing" days throughout the year.
There are 3 indivdiual challenges that are performed for a certain amount of time...
There are 3 partner/group challenges that are performed for a certain number of repetitions...
Students practice the skills they want/need to complete and when they feel they are ready, they let me know when they are ready to "test". It doesn’t count if they do it on their own while practicing. A description of each activity is provided on a bulletin board in the gym with 6 posters underneath that explain the stations if students need more info or have questions. As they complete challenges, I mark them down and when they complete 4, 5, or all 6 skills, they earn their name up on the board for the bronze, silver, gold medal level.
Our younger students focused some time learning about the proper mechanics of hand dribbling and practicing in both personal and general space.
Students tested their skills by practicing the "tricks" in these videos.
We continued working on our dribbling skills with these three activities on the second day of PE. The video below will walk you through my explanation of these lhand dribbling activities and you can click on each individual activity sheet to view/download.
Well Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to everyone reading this blog! I'll be taking the next couple weeks off for the winter break, but I will return in the New Year with more insights into the gym each week. A quick update on my recent student teacher, Mr. Zaputil...he just took a long term substitute position in the P.E. department at Geneva HS and is looking forward to continuing his work for a few months after the break! Congrats, Mr. Z!
This week we did some small sided floor hockey games with grades 3-5 as we continued to utilize skills that we practiced last week. A special shoutout to The Chicago Wolves for sponsoring our floor hockey unit with team jerseys, and tickets for the kids to attend any home game this season!
Our focus was getting students to work together in random groups as they played floor hockey. Here's a closer look at how that was done using a little technology in an app I use called Class Dojo. There is a great little toolkit that has a random group generator as well as a timer - both were used all week as we played 5 minute games and then shuffled the teams again. Take a look at the video demo below...
I really want students to graduate from 5th grade being able to not only work cooperatively with others, but also accept and play with other students of both higher and lower skill levels. These mixed ability situations offer opportunities for more skilled players to act as leaders in a particular activity and those less skilled to learn from their more skilled peers. We keep the games short (5 minutes) and then we shuffle the teams again. Students are learning one of the most important concepts in #PhysEd, "The score is not as important as the people you play the game with." The kids really did a great job this week playing several mini-games with a variety of different players from their class. If they were on a good team with their friends, they enjoyed it for 5 minutes and if they weren't with their friends or on a great team, they played hard and knew that in 5 minutes we'd shuffle the teams again. The important part was that the small-sided games offered students multiple touches of the puck and more "active playing time" than hiding somewhere on the court in a larger game.
Grades 1 & 2
DAY 1 - Our primary students got to work on a variety of "free choice" stations. We had the gym divided up into three sections that kids could choose to play. In section one, we had three different types of scooters they could try. Section two had a little floor hockey game setup with modified equipment (fleece ball & oversized foam hockey sticks). Section three had some scoops & balls, mini-basketballs for dribbling and shooting as well as some jumpropes and hula hoops. Separating the three sections were two rows of tumbling mats students could use too.
DAY 2 - We got a chance to play a holiday-themed cooperative scooter activity called "Special Delivery" - check out students from Miss Hassell's first grade class in action in the video below...
Kindergarten only had 1 day of PE this week due to the holiday class parties on Friday afternoon. They got a chance to do the "Special Delivery" scooter game on Wednesday. Parents, I took a quick video of each class playing the game and posted on Class Dojo for you to view. I'm already looking forward to a great second half of the school year when we return from winter break!
This week was bittersweet...we began our floor hockey unit with our upper elementary grades 3-5 (which is a personal favorite of mine) but we also said "goodbye" to my student teacher, Mr. Zaputil. He has been a tremendous asset to our program in the short time he's been here. He's made connections with students and that's a true sign of a great educator. He will be missed, but I know he and I will continue to stay in touch as he prepares to interview for a teaching positions in the fall. Best of luck, Mr. Zaputil...you'll be a great addition wherever you land!
In celebration of the new Star Wars movie coming out this week, students participated in some Star Wars themed workouts for our warm up activities. Here's a look at some 4th graders doing a little light saber training...
You can view the 2 full workouts below...
Floor hockey kicked off this week and was pretty much a skill building time as students worked on a variety of skills within various activities such as stick handling (dribbling), clearing a puck, passing, shooting and stealing! Some of these skills were practiced individually and others were in more of a "lead-up" game format. Below is a video of a 5th grade group playing a lead-up game called 6-Goal Hockey...
Our primary students also enjoyed some Star Wars themed activities as a warm up activity this week. The first one was more of a "follow the directions" type of activity and the second one was some Jedi Training exercises using pool noodles as light sabers!
For our skill focus this week, we worked on manipulative skills using scoops & whiffle balls. A variety of hand-eye coordination "tricks" were practiced. Our culminating application acivity was to challenge students to try an complete as many of these "Super 7 Challenges" as they could (video below).
Day 1 - our kinders tried a partner walk run, where students paired up with one person being the walker and one person starting as the runner. On the signal, both partners began traveling around the gym in the same direction. When the runner caught up to the walker, they switched roles. Great for learning to take turns and they got lots of great cardio exercise during that activity! After our warm up we worked on a variety of teacher-led activities focusing on bouncing, catching, and dribbling skills.
Day 2 - We started off by recording our shoe sizes in preparation for our roller skating unit that begins the end of January. I'm ordering skates next week! We then jumped right in to some scooter free play time as students experimented with different ways of traveling on the scooter board. After that we finished with some ball & scoop activities which focused on eye-hand coordination in a variety of tricks demonstrated on our projector screen using animated GIFs on a PowerPoint presentation!
We continued our gymnastics unit as students worked on a variety of stunts and tumbling activities in class this week. Here's a closer look:
Day 1 - this was a partner & group balance day where students worked together to perform a variety of different balances utilizing multiple people in a group. We used an iPad app called "Balance It" which has a variety of different balances with different numbers of people. Students tried out several of the app balances and even created lots of their own! Take a look at our students in action...
Check out this AWESOME slide show of balances!
Day 2 - Students worked at 6 different activity stations that focused on a variety of skills. At our balance beam station, students tried to travel across the balance beam forward, backwards, sideways, with a beanbag on their head and some even tried cartwheels (video below). The next station was animal walks. Here students used an iPad app called "Spin da Wheel" which landed on different animals and the students in that group traveled across a long section of mats moving like the given animal. We also had our group balance station where students tried more creative ways to balance with friends. They were encouraged to use the iPad app "Balance It" if they couldn't come up with any balances on their own. We got down our traverse rock climbing wall and although it's not really a gymnastics station per se, the students really liked the challenge of climbing across the wall and through the hula hoops that were attached to the wall (video below). Next we had free choice stunting/tumbling mat where students could try anything they wanted to work on. Some students made mini-routines and others tried individual skills. Finally we had rolling station using our wedge or "cheese" mat. Students were given a list of different rolls to try down the mat.
This week our students began an exploratory gymnastics unit! We focused on basic body awareness and an introduction to balancing on varoius body parts, rolls, animal walks, etc... Here's a closer look...
Our student teacher, Mr. Zaputil, came through again this week by creating more fun learning practice experiences for the students. After some quick warm-up activities, students were given some basic safety rules and then opportunities to practice several different balances, rolls and travels via a Prezi slideshow on our projector screen. After practicing several different stunts, students were asked to create a short "sequence or routine" using some of the elements they had practiced. Mr. Zaputil also created a fun "Balance Bingo" activity where students had to balance creatively on different body parts with various points of balance touching the mat. Student choice was also part of our second day of class as students got to choose which activity they would like to do with their partner. Allowing students to be in control of their own learning by offering choices helps not only the class management aspect (fewer off-task behaviors) but also gets students learning at a deeper level/accelerated rate because they have "ownership" of what "they" want to do. Adults aren't told what to do to stay active/healthy, they make choices based on things they enjoy to do, things they feel competent at and things that interest them - preparation for the "real world" going on here!!
Here is a look at the list of skills that students practiced and got to choose from to build their routine.
Our early elementary grades were also introduced to some gymnastics safety rules and then practiced a variety of animal walks, balances and rolls. They then used those skills to build a simple 4 part sequence on their own focusing on being creative in their selections.
Here's a look at the "Points of Balance" Bingo activity we used to teach creative balancing on different points of contact. Students had to perform a different balance than their partner and hold it for 5 seconds.
Here's a look at some of the different balances students came up with from Ms. Hanna's 1st grade class!